DIY denim distressing

My intention with this blog has always been to share ways to update an existing wardrobe on a shoestring. I positively loathe distressed denim and will never, ever wear it. It’s right up there with hems too long that drag on the floor. See a previous blog for a rant on that look. However style icons such as Ms Beckham, Cole, et al all step out in this look regularly. So for the purposes of this blog, I made a collage of some distressed denim to show the effect. No chance I would ruin my own clothes.

Achieving the look has to be dead easy. I can think of hundreds of ways to damage clothing. For the ripped effect, you could slash and rip your clothes yourself with a blunt-ish knife. You could borrow a file from your bloke’s toolbox and rasp your clothes to shreds. Or you could bash them with a hammer or some rocks. I see no reason to pay good money for this look. Any one of these ideas should suffice to wreck your clothes and give you the distressed look.

For the faded, messy look, I would mix liquid bleach or Javel water with tap water and splash it all over your clothes. Mixing strengths of bleach will give a marbled or varied effect. A milder bleach solution would give a softer effect.

Now I know using bleach isn’t exactly eco friendly. But if you weigh up the effect that mass clothing production has on the environment and our current culture of buy today, dispose tomorrow. Maybe recycling some denim with a little bleach is the lesser evil? Annie Leonard’s cute animation – The Story of Stuff – made me re-think my ways.

The Greenie Galleries at the top of this page have 100s of photos of older and newer projects showing multiple ways to make your own clothing and accessories. There are also ideas to recycle or upcycle.

See you soon.